cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

book 56 & 57

Spice& Wolf vol one by Isuna Hasekura This is the novel the manga of the same name was based on. It’s either the middle ages or the renaissance but it wasn’t clear which. Lawrence is a traveling merchant, ranging far and wide. He rolls into one town with a cart full of wheat and marten furs and is in time for a harvest festival where the townspeople chase Holo, the wolf of the harvest. Their Holo is one of the young farmers.

To his utter surprise, Lawrence finds a young girl in his cart. She happens to have ears and a tail. At first he thinks she’s a ‘demon child’ the kind the church and the inquisition like to burn at the stake. She claims to be Holo the Wisewolf and she is tired of the village. They begin to travel together, her telling him stories of the past and her home in the north while he teaches her a lot about the merchant trade.

The problem with this story is that it’s well rather slow. It takes forever to have any real conflict outside of the snarky give and take between Lawrence and Holo. The running plot thread is one of a young merchant who approaches Lawrence with a plan to buy up some of the current silver coins speculating on future purity and worth. I have to admit, this sort of Machiavellian business talk doesn’t really do it for me. There is a bit of sweetness to this but the truth behind the money exchange takes a wee bit long to come about. Lawrence and Holo are likeable as they slowly fall for each other but I’m not sure I’m interested in the next volume or not.

Scent of the Missing by Susannah Charleson. I’m not a huge reader of the feel good animal stories but I do like true crime and forensics and search and rescue dogs sort of fit into that. My one great fear is that I’ll like the animal and think the owner is a big jerk and heaven help you if you say that in a review. People will go berserk. No fears here. Susannah is both knowledgeable about her field and down to earth and likeable.

There’s a bit of non-linear going on here which was a little disconcerting at first but she gets around to weaving the story together better. She was working with her search and rescue team as a non-dog handler role. Finally she goes to get a dog of her own, a golden retriever named Puzzle. She takes the reader through Puzzle’s laborious training which is much lengthier than I expected. Puzzle is a sweet lady. Intermixed with that as other cases with her companion’s dogs.

It was interesting what a SAR dog has to go through and all that they are capable of. If you like dogs, like the search and rescue work aspects, I think you’ll really like this. She also has Pomeranians and has a lot of stories about them and the cat and how puppy Puzzle fits in. I enjoyed this.

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